Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

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A bunch of others have commented on this already. But I'd feel remiss if I didn't make some comment on President Bush's embrace yesterday of teaching creationism as a scientific theory in science classes.

That's hardly a surprise. The cardinal point of the Bush presidency, after all, is not getting out of step with the religious right ever on anything. But what about reporters at the Times, the Post and other papers.

Do they really need to pretend that there's a scientific debate over 'Intelligent Design' rather than a political tussle between science and the religious right?

Today in the Times Elizabeth Bumiller describes 'Intelligent Design' as a theory which is, "advanced by a group of academics and intellectuals and some biblical creationists."

Creationists just along for the ride?

Is that really an accurate description of who's behind this?

As Atrios aptly notes, there's a bit of a bait and switch afoot here. Most mainstream religious groups have long since made their peace with evolutionary theory. As in, most Protestant denominations, the Catholic Church, Judaism in its Conservative, Reform, and most Orthodox groups. The stipulation, in most cases, is simply that evolution is part of God's plan for the creation of life.

Few have any real beef with that stipulation because it is one that is just not relevant to the sorts of question evolutionary biologists study. It allows religion and science to happily coexist.

What you have here with the president and the intelligent design hucksters is an attempt to teach creationism as a rival theory to evolution in science classes. And more broadly, it is a brief for Biblical literalism being taught in the public schools, despite the fact that people as far back as Origen could figure out that at least certain parts of the Bible could not possibly be intended to be understood as literal truth.

Another thought. How can we deal with global warming if we're not sure the Earth is more than 6,000 years old?

And while we're at it? Where'd all the oil come from?

I linked below to Ivo Daalder's post about the Bush administration's transition from GWOT (Global War on Terror) to GSAVE (Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism. Ivo thinks this is both a very big change and a very good change.

I'm inclined to agree. But first a few thoughts.

First of all, let's hope that the administration is as proficient in combating terrorism as it is in coming up with new buzzwords and acronyms.

Secondly, on the political front, isn't it necessary for the president to -- how else to put it? -- 'fess up? This is a complete repudiation of roughly four years of counter-terrorism policy out of the White House.

The core of the Bush Doctrine was that the threat of terrorism is still one tied to states rather than non-state-actors. As Doug Feith said some three years ago, the reliance of terrorists on state sponsors has been the "principal strategic thought underlying our strategy in the war on terrorism."

If we take their words at face value, they've now abandoned that cornerstone of their strategy. Shouldn't that prompt some questions?

What are we to make of the change from GWOT (Global War on Terror) to GSAVE (Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism)? Ivo Daalder says it's a big deal. And that it's being driven by the Pentagon, which is the institution experiencing the failure of the Bush-GWOT firsthand.

Brewing Dobson-Frist Smackdown? Who heard today's Focus on the Family segment with Dr. James?

Dobson says he can't bear being "stabbed in the back by somebody that I thought was a friend … [And] that is what I think has happened here. This is not personal ... Sen. Frist has not put the knife in my back. But it’s essentially placed in the backs of all pro-life and pro-family people around the country."

Final results are in. And it's Schmidt over Hackett, 52%-48% -- a spread of about 3500 votes. The key was that Schmidt's home turf was late reporting.

This is a solid Republican district, though. And Hackett made them really work for it.

It'll be interesting to see what lessons and signs can be gleaned from the results.

As of 10:20 the last I've heard is still a 50%-50% race, with Schmidt up over Hackett by just under a thousand votes and 662 of 753 precincts reporting.

Hackett started with a slim lead, lost it after about half the votes had been counted and then pushed the margin back to the result above. But the outstanding votes, as far as I can tell, come from Schmidt's home turf.

We're discussing the results in this thread.

We'll post updates as we hear them.

If you're looking for informed play-by-play on the congressional race tonight in Ohio's 2nd district you'll probably want to head over to either Swing State Project or MyDD.

But just for my part, even now, this is looking like it could be a pretty exciting evening. According to Chris Bowers latest numbers it's Hackett (D) 51.99-48.01 over Schimdt (R) with 250 of 753 precincts reporting.

That's close enough that you really can't interpret those numbers without knowing precisely which precincts have come and the precise contours of the district.

But remember: this is a heavily Republican district. And with a third of the vote in, Hackett is managing to hold on to a razor thin lead. At worst, Hackett is giving Schmidt one hell of a run for her money. And at best ... well, let's wait and see.

Late Update: Schmidt pulling ahead in the stretch ... with 508 precincts reporting, 52% for Schmidt, 48% for Hackett.

Later Update: 660 precincts out of 753 reporting, Schmidt up by less than a thousand votes. 50%-50% by percentage. -- 9:51 PM

(We'll be watching the numbers at this thread at TPMCafe.)

Over his site, Ed Kilgore's got a partial answer to the Ralph Reed mystery. That is, how Reed is still managing to run for state-wide office in Georgia even though he's been centrally implicated in the Abramoff Indian gambling shakedown scandal. Ed says, just be patient. Lots of people in the state seem to realize Reed's goose is cooked. The question, says Ed, is just when between now and election day it all catches up with him.